Historically beer drinking wasn't associated with class. Many of the drinkers had a rough edge to them and saw it as a recreation drink or relaxation drink. Picture a beer at a baseball game, or tailgating at a football game, or best of all, "bartender give me a beer". With this type of audience already firmly entrenched as a drinking base it was time to reach out to other drinkers. A subtle message that is permeated throughout the campaigns is that everyone can drink a beer. These campaigns can be as educational as they can catchy. With this in mind it's interesting to see how similar yet different these two campaigns are. The end goal is to have one of the catchier campaigns, reach a new audience and get people to buy your beer because of the campaign you put together.
As part of the overall message, Dos Equis has really appealed to the young professionals, shooting for the 25-40 year old range who still think they can be that guy. It's a fun campaign that has changed the way we look at Dos Equis. Having an exotic foreign name to it has helped too. Having gone from almost complete obscurity to on of the most talked about beers out there, congratulations, it worked. It worked so well that I now can't wait for the next Most Interesting Man in the World commercial.
A little known fact is that Heineken owns Dos Equis. So the big question is why would they compete with themselves? The answer isn't so easy to explain. There are two sides to this. In case you haven't seen the ads, there is a young man whose nationality can't be placed (the spot was shot in Spain with a French actor) but totes a thin beard and is dark haired. He enters a room and immediatly greets all sorts of people. These people range from Indian women to foreign dignitaries. There is even a scene with a Martial Arts expert. Essentially the man is good at everything and has done everything in order to meet and greet these people. Everyone loves him and he too is one of the Most Interesting Men in the World.
To answer the question of why compete? The overall success of the Dos Equis campaign had to be so overwhelming that the big whigs thought it would be Okay to introduce a little competition. Rivaling The Most Interesting Man in the World (TMIMW) is a very hard thing to accomplish. He is distinguished and has a take on life that we would all love to have. So to introduce a spunky young man into the mix and try to take some of that real estate was a tough task to ask. Heineken did a really good job through the agency Weiden + Kennedy of Amsterdam in making this young buck "interesting". The campaign is older than you would think. It started in 2010 and has been a viral hit for a while but starting in March 2011 went mainstream.
UPDATE: The latest commercials.